Week 41, 2015
I've been thinking about the combat statistics this week and what each value adds to gameplay. In the current model, we have pierce, slash and blunt attack values with corresponding defense values. I've found this to be difficult to balance and not very intuitive.
The existing combat model
Take for example the mammoth. They have high defense values against slashing, which means Buffalo (which deal piercing damage) will be able to fight them, but Tigers (dealing slash damage) will be slaughtered. This large contrast in outcomes applies for the player's weapons as well. In the end it didn't add anything to the experience, and was more of an annoyance for the player to keep track of.
Removing damage types while keeping variety
Therefore I've removed pierce, slash, blunt in favour of a single attack damage value. Individual defense types have also been replaced with one value for Armor. The variations in combat are now mainly from attack cool-downs and dodging. An animal with a fast cool-down will be able to do more attacks, but in general have weaker attacks and be less capable of breaking through armor, although they will still be able to do damage. An animal with a high dodge chance will simply get hit less often. It's also a benefit that this type of combat variation is easier to represent on the game world.
Finally I've made some tweaks to the damage algorithm so that the maximum protection armor/clothing can provide is 80% of the total damage. Bruises, cuts and bleeding remain unchanged, but I may evaluate their contribution at a later date for improvements.